Got cancer? There’s an app for that.
You wake up one morning and your spouse notices a mole on your back that looks like Abraham Lincoln. You both laugh — then realize it’s no laughing matter. Abe just might be a mole harboring scary yet minute cancerous cells. What now? Get your iPhone out, take your pick of skin cancer apps, take a picture, and wait for the doctor to respond with a diagnosis. Who said doctors don’t make house calls anymore?
There are over 12,000 medical iPhone apps in the app store alone. No matter the medical situation, help is just a click or a tap away. The apps aren’t just for patients. Doctors rely on apps for reference and up-to-date information. Some physicians even use their gadgets to keep tabs of their patients, as well as hospital activities or maybe clinic or meeting schedules.
Here are some of the most interesting medical apps available.
App: Medibabble Translator
Nothing is more frustrating for a doctor than to be a guest at a Russian wedding where the bride passes out and everyone is trying to explain what happened, in Russian. You need to ask some quick questions. Find the right question in English on the app and it will ask the question, loudly, in Russian. Since you probably won’t understand their answer, it’s kind of like a bad version of 20 questions.
If you find it difficult to remember when to take your meds, your phone can now remind you. It’s not just an alarm, it will tell you which pill to take. It’s simple and effective if you can figure out how to cram the pills into your iPhone.
Doctors are often expected to be walking encyclopedias. Today, doctors can get important and the latest information on all available drugs right on their iPhone. Doctors may be really smart, but it’s nice to know that they don’t have to rely on their memory for everything.
App: The Merck Manual – Professional Edition
Rocket scientists are rarely asked, on the fly, to quickly build a rocket to the moon. Doctors, on the other hand, often face life and death situations with only a hint of what could be wrong. The Merck Manual is like having Dr. House looking over your shoulder to determine the proper diagnosis.
This is the best app for hypochondriacs. Not only can you now accurately diagnose your problem, you can prescribe the proper medication; and you won’t even need to go to the doctor. It’s like cramming four years of medical school plus two years of residency right in your iPhone . . . right.
If only life was so simple that a few taps can take the pain away or a click can easily get rid of a life-threatening illness, then all of us will be using apps to get better. But the truth is, although we all have easy access to endless information, whether via our smartphones or the internet, it’s still better to see your doctor. Yes, you should take advantage of all the information that’s right in front of you. But you also need to be properly assessed and seen by a professional in case you suspect that something is wrong with your body.
- Mac Users Guide. “iPhone First Generation 8GB A/V Jack”.July 1, 2009. Online image. Flickr. November 16, 2012.
- License: Creative Commons image source
Claire Hunt is a freelance writer who specializes in medical issues. She provides material for http://www.ciamedical.com where you can find information about a reliable distributor of different types of top notch medical supplies, like Baxter and 3M.